IBM and austriamicrosystems partner for high-voltage CMOS technology

IBM and austriamicrosystems say they will enhance IBM’s 180-nm radio frequency (RF) CMOS process technology with austriamicrosystems’ proprietary high-voltage module. The HV module is currently in volume production as part of austriamicrosystems’ 350-nm high voltage CMOS process technology.


IBM and austriamicrosystems say they will enhance IBM’s 180-nm radio frequency (RF) CMOS process technology with austriamicrosystems’ proprietary high-voltage module. The HV module is currently in volume production as part of austriamicrosystems’ 350-nm high voltage CMOS process technology. The strict modularity with the base process lets customers designing on the 180 nm CMOS process use their existing design IP to allow a very fast time to market.

Foundry customers for this process will have access to process design kits (“HIT-Kit”) from IBM and austriamicrosystems with limited availability expected by the beginning of 2008. Production is scheduled to begin in 2009 at IBM’s 200-mm facility in Essex Junction, VT. The technology will be transferred to austriamicrosystems’ facility later.

“This is a landmark agreement for both IBM and austriamicrosystems,” said Tom Reeves, vice president, semiconductor and technology services, IBM Global Engineering Solutions. “We recognize austriamicrosystems’ experience in high-voltage technology, and our combined efforts will provide IBM and austriamicrosystems with an advanced process offering to benefit our customers. And the timing is right—we are seeing an increasing demand in specialty processes for applications like power management.”

John Heugle, CEO of austriamicrosystems, said, “We are very pleased to team up with IBM for the next analog technology node. Leveraging our long-term process development know-how in high-voltage CMOS, we complement IBM’s expertise in advanced CMOS process technology for a very fast development cycle and a top performing process technology. As a key element of austriamicrosystems’ strategic roadmap, the 180 nm high-voltage CMOS process demonstrates our clear focus on leading-edge analog integrated circuit (IC) solutions.”

The newly developed, high-performance process is said to enable cost-effective designs for a wide range of applications, including intelligent power management ICs for mobile devices, and low-cost integrated controllers for automotive, industrial, and medical applications. In mobile devices, these power management chips are designed specifically to manage and regulate a range of power requirements, resulting in more efficient battery consumption for these products to run longer, with better performance, and at lower cost, said the companies.

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